University General Education Requirements

The undergraduate curriculum at the University primarily consists of the courses a student takes in an academic major and the general education curriculum required of all students, regardless of major. General education comprises those courses and areas of study that the University believes are important for all undergraduates to study. Such courses help students develop the skills of reading, writing, discussion, quantitative reasoning and inquiry that enable them to do well in all their studies; they provide background information and context for a student’s major studies; they address those questions and issues as well as develop those methods and habits of mind, which students will need not only as practitioners in a profession, but as citizens and human beings in today’s world.

University General Education Requirements

The general education curriculum is structured in terms of three developmental levels:

Total hours in General Education

46 hours



Level I: Introduction to University Learning

16 hours

Transitions (TRANS 100)

1 hour

First-Year Seminar (also meets 1 Level II requirement)

3 hours

The Examined Life (PHIL 140)

3 hours

Rhetoric and Writing (ENGL 120)

3 hours

Speech Fundamentals (COMM 101)

3 hours

Mathematics (3 hours)

3 hours

Level II: Requirements in Arts and Sciences

Note: First Year Seminar also meets 1 Level II course requirement-subtract 3 hours

30 hours

Natural Science: (2 courses/2 disciplines) 6 hours
Social Sciences: (2 courses/2 disciplines) 6 hours
History: (2 courses) 6 hours
Art, Humanities, Music, Literature: (2 courses/2 disciplines) 6 hours
Philosophy: (1 additional 200/300 level course) 3 hours
Religious Studies: (2 courses) 6 hours


Level III: Diversity and Global Studies

Note: Students complete the two-course requirement in Diversity Studies and the two-course requirement in Global Studies while completing either Program requirements in their Major, or General Education requirements in Level II. GE requirements in Global Studies and Diversity Studies should not add additional hours in the General Education Program.

General Education Transfer Policy

All transfer students must take ACSU 101: Transfer Student Orientation. It meets once, for no cost, and carries 0 credit hours. This is a graduation requirement for transfer students.

Transfer students with fewer than 30 hours

All requirements of the general education curriculum.

Transfer students with 30 or more hours

Students who have completed the Illinois Articulation Initiative General Education Core Curriculum (IAI/GECC) requirements (37-41 hours) must take the following additional mission based courses at SXU in order to fulfill their general education requirements:

Students who enter the University with all but two courses of the IAI/GECC can complete the general education core curriculum at SXU and then must take the same two mission-based courses noted above.

All other students will be evaluated on an individual basis.

Additional Notes on General Education Requirements

  1. All first-year students must complete a placement exam in mathematics and a placement exam in English writing before they can receive their first-semester Fall Schedule and their year-long Academic Plan (distributed at FOCUS). Students are strongly encouraged to complete an online MATH tutorial before taking the Math Placement Exam.
  2. As indicated above, all First Year Seminars meet a Level II requirement in Natural Science, Social Science, History, Religious Studies, or "Art, Humanities, Music and Literature." Consequently, the 33 hours required in Level II can be reduced from 33 hours to 30 hours.
  3. As indicated above, Students should complete the two-course requirement in Diversity Studies and the two-course requirement in Global Studies while completing either Program requirements in their Major or General Education requirements in Level II. GE requirements in Diversity Studies and Global Studies should not increase the total hours required to meet General Education requirements.
  4. General Education courses may also fulfill Program requirements in a Major or a Minor. Students should check with their advisors.

Old University General Education Requirements

Students who began their academic studies at Saint Xavier University before 2010F can opt to participate in the previous General Education Program. That Program required 57 hours:

Natural Science (2 courses) 6 hours
Social Sciences (3 course/2 disciplines)   9 hours
History (2 courses)   6 hours
Art, Humanities, Music, Literature (2 courses)   6 hours
Philosophy (PHIL 150 and 1 additional 200/300 level course)  6 hours
Religious Studies (2 courses)  6 hours
English 101 and 102 (2 courses) 6 hours
Communication 101 (1 course)  3 hours
Mathematics (1 course)   3 hours


To fulfill B.A. degree requirements:

Foreign Language/Foreign Culture
The B.A. requires 6 additional credit hours of foreign language/culture. Any natural foreign language course qualifies. Foreign culture includes any course focusing on the literature and/or civilization of a specific society outside the Anglo-American tradition.

To fulfill B.S. degree requirements:

The B.S. degree requires 6 additional credit hours of mathematics-science courses required by the major or professional program.

To fulfill B.B.A. requirements:

The B.B.A. requires 6 additional credit hours of math/science or 6 additional credit hours of foreign language/culture or 3 credit hours of math/science and 3 credit hours of foreign language/culture.